Christina Lake Water Quality Review – December 2013

Posted on Jan 11, 2014

There were over 70 people in attendance at the Stewardship Society`s annual review of the watershed held at the Community Hall on December 4, 2013. Below is a summary of the major issues discussed at this meeting.

The water quality of the Lake continues to be very good. There are 2 monitoring sites, one off Texas point and the other at the south end of the Lake, which are monitored by the province in the spring and the fall. The Stewardship Society does some monitoring of the water clarity and temperature during the other times of the year. The province also monitors attached algae growth at 6 stations every 5 years and no increase in growth has been noted, but there has been some change in the observed species of algae.

There is considerable concern with respect to the introduction of invasive mussels into the Lake because of their rapid growth and the damage they can do to both the ecology, water supply systems and the recreational quality of the Lake. The province has developed new aquatic invasive species legislation in an attempt to control this issue. The Conservation Officers now have enforcement powers for the legislation and are taking this issue seriously. All boats coming over the border at Cascade are inspected for mussel contamination and if any boat is suspected, the Conservation Officers are informed and the boat must be decontaminated before entering the country. Any other boat that is identified as possibly being contaminated must be decontaminated before it enters the Lake. The boat being out of the water for 30 days or more is not acceptable decontamination. The reason for this is that if a dead mussel is found in the Lake, it is not known if this is a dead mussel that has just dropped off a boat or if the Lake is now contaminated and expensive control methods need to be established.

The milfoil control program was very successful this year. The diving crew managed to get around the Lake twice over the season with the exception of a very small area on the west side which was done only once. Many of the dense areas at the south end of the Lake were reclaimed and the Lake appears to be in the best condition it has been for some time. The use of weevils for control at the south end of the Lake is presently being reviewed by a provincial committee, but comments from this committee have not been received yet. The Regional District has hired a Masters student to work on this issue. (The CLWPOS has received a letter from the Environment Minister confirming this as the current status.)


Bear sightings and conflicts were substantially lower than during past years but problems with several cougars were experienced. The audience was reminded to manage domestic refuse in a manner that does not encourage bears and to pick the fruit on fruit trees so bears are not attracted.

The Kettle River study is progressing with recommendations expected next year. A survey of the concerns of the people in the area was undertaken and a lot of time was spent, primarily by environmental NGOs, on riparian and wetland area evaluations. The City of Grand Forks is considering installing water meters to reduce the pressure on the Grand Forks aquifer and to conform to the provincial policy to reduce water use. Discussions are going on with the stakeholders regarding the contamination of the Grand Forks aquifer.

Forest harvesting of the cut blocks in the watershed has been completed and at this time no additional harvesting in the watershed is planned. It may be noted that tree harvesting on private land surrounding the lake is subject to the regulations that apply to crown land and as such may have an impact on lake visual quality.